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cannabis seeds kosher for passover

“Marijuana is not kosher all year long,” said Rabbi Moshe Elefant, chief operating officer and rabbinic coordinator of kashrut for the Orthodox Union.

Here’s a fifth question for the seder: What makes this herb different from all others?

And if that rabbi told her pot was illegal for Passover, “I would just have to double my prescription for Xanax,” she said. “There’s always a replacement.”

Kitniyot, generically called legumes, include rice, corn, beans, peas, lentils and seeds. The traditional ban among Ashkenazim, which is not rooted in halacha, began in medieval times from fear that kitniyot could come into contact with banned grains while in storehouses.

Perhaps it’s something on which the Orthodox and Reform could smoke a peace pipe: No herb — not on Passover or any other time.

“For those who are machmid,” or stringent, about kitniyot, Sieradski said, “it could be an issue. But if they’re really that observant, they probably don’t smoke weed anyway.”

Jews may be kashering their pots and pans for Passover, but he said he wasn’t aware of anyone throwing out their pot.

In January, Vireo Health of New York announced that the Orthodox Union, one of the largest kashrut agencies in the world, was certifying its medical marijuana products, which come in three forms: pills, oils and vapor. Vireo is one of five medical marijuana providers selected to participate in a New York state medical marijuana program that goes into effect next month; none of the others have been certified kosher.

Zalmanovich, the author of a book on alcoholism in Judaism, said: “Taking drugs to escape this world in any excessive way is certainly forbidden.”

However, if the drug is administered to relieve pain, then the person giving it is “performing a mitzvah,” and the person using the drug is using it “in a kosher fashion.”

Leading ultra-Orthodox authority blows away the haze, plants seed for marijuana use over the festival of freedom

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After smelling the leaves of a cannabis plant, Rabbi Kanievky and Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein, another leading Orthodox authority, decided that the plant had a “healing smell” and made the blessing for fragrant leaves.

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Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, widely considered the leading living ultra-Orthodox halachic authority, ruled that marijuana is kosher for Passover and can be either eaten or smoked over the eight-day Jewish festival, during which strict dietary laws apply, according the pro-Cannabis online magazine

If the candle is burning

There’s no point in seeking advice from the ancients, as tobacco only made it to Europe and the Middle East from South America in the 16th century. If anybody in the Land of Israel was smoking something beforehand, it wasn’t that.

Which brings us to marijuana, about which the medical community is still unsure, though not when pot is mixed with tobacco – because that exposes the user to the full joys of tobacco-related illnesses. In June 2013, a paper in Annals of the American Thoracic Society, based on a “limited number of well-designed epidemiological studies,” showed that light to moderate marijuana smoking was not associated with lung cancer; the evidence regarding long-term heavy use was not clear.

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Starting with the spread of tobacco from the Americas, the Jewish attitude toward smoking has evolved a long way from initial acceptance and even encouragement. Early Jewish smokers hazily thought tobacco and snuff aided in digestion and other bodily functions. No less an authority than the Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), a venerated mystical rabbi, was said to have enjoyed his post-Shabbat pipe. But then, starting in the late 19th century, the medical evidence started to pile up.

On the other hand, the gaon (great Jewish scholar) Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986) thought smoking shouldn’t be prohibited because people who do it really enjoy it, and the chance of actually contracting a disease from the habit was not great – thus, the Psalm 116 tenet “the Lord protects the unwary” applied.

In any case, yes, marijuana is kosher, or rather – as one rabbi put it – it isn’t not kosher.

While on the topic of cigarettes and observance, Yosef also noted that when addicts light up a last one before Shabbat, they risk not only violating the day’s sanctity with fire, but with the destruction of written letters – also forbidden on Shabbat – because each cigarette is marked with the name of its manufacturer, for instance, the Israeli company Dubek, and as the cigarette burns down, the letters get destroyed. Now you know.